Yesterday i was looking at local colorful ceramic plates to buy and i spoke to the woman who owned the shop.
She is one of the few “Payus” (local) people that speaks a great english.
I asked her ,pointing to a tile with a 6 point star on it
“What does this mean?
She replied” This is the symbol of the Jews.”
“Why do you carry this ?” I pressed on,barely able to contain my excitement…
“Because this island and Ibiza and Mallorca once had many Jews”
” I know ” ,I finally stated,”I am a Judio (Jew) and one of the very few on this island.”
“There are others” she smiled cryptically.
Then ensued a conversation where i told her all i knew about the history of the Jews on the island and she was astonished.
“All our history has been erased “<she said sadly.”In school they took away our language of Catalan and we could only speak Spanish and learn things Spain but not of this island.”
I asked her if she knew about the concentration camp i discovered on the island.
Her eyes grew big and she said ,”Oh yes we cried many times over that .People we knew starved to death.”
I told her i went there and recited Hebrew prayers for the dead a few years ago.
She talked about how hard it was during the Civil War when Franco punished this island and for many years after and how it was forgotten until the hippies came.
I told her i was one of those hippies in 1973.
“Where did you learn your English? I asked.
Her family was friends with an Englishman and his daughters and he taught her English during the day and then she would play with his daughters in English after.
She was proud of this.
Her mother’s family traces their roots on this island to the 17th century.
These pictures were taken at the Concentration camp ruins i discovered on the island.There were 1700 prisoners here awaiting execution mostly from Mainland Spain,free masons and anarchists and communists ..Hitler took an especial interest in this concentration camp that ran from 1936 to 1941…
From this island Franco’s war planes would take off to bomb civilian populations on Valencia accompanied by Nazi German Luftwaffe. #jewsformentera,#jewsinbalearics,#formentera,#jonathonlipsininformentera